What does "gospel bass sound" mean to you?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bongostealth, Mar 16, 2014.


  1. bongostealth

    bongostealth Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    For those of you who play gospel bass, in particular African-American gospel, I was just curious what some of you think a gospel bass is or how it should sound.

    For me, I love a burpy, growly, warm, and midsy sound. When I think about a good sounding "Black Gospel" bass, I think: Cirrus, Warwick, Ken Smith, Warrior, Tobias, Wyn, among others (at different points I've owned all of these except for Ken Smith and Warrior -- both absolutely on my GAS list). For my particular tastes, my favorite Black Gospel basses have pickups which are typically dual-coil pickups and have bodies made out of woods which provide strong mids and lows. For me, the heavier the better. Hence, Warwick is BY FAR one of my favorites even though they don't usually come with dual-coil pickups, but they have an INCREDIBLE growl.

    As for amps, I'm a newbie in that regard in that I haven't tried many amps at all. But it seems that for Black Gospel, some of the favorites out there are Eden, MarkBass, SWR, Epiphani, Aguilar, among others.

    What do you all think??? :cool:
  2. Dug2

    Dug2 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Location:
    chicago



    Chi-Town in the house, Im not a gospel player, but i think Sharay is awesome
  3. bongostealth

    bongostealth Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Ahh yes! I've seen this clip MANY times and never get tired of it!
  4. Dug2

    Dug2 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Location:
    chicago
    right on, and for good reason. take care
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. basslayer

    basslayer Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Location:
    New Brunswick, NJ
    you need something that can cut through a hammond organ, so something active, or at least hot sounding pickups.
  7. solderjunkie

    solderjunkie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Location:
    Nashville TN
  8. bongostealth

    bongostealth Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Ibanez, huh? Interesting...
  9. basslayer

    basslayer Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Location:
    New Brunswick, NJ
    I used an SR905 for a while and it worked for the most part. The string path is very narrow so it makes slapping a challenge. For gospel, I prefer the BTB if I am going for an Ibanez.
  10. basslayer

    basslayer Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Location:
    New Brunswick, NJ
    As far as amps, I cannot say that I see anything really common. I saw one bassist playing a Phil Jones amp and it sounded pretty good.
  11. raal

    raal

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Location:
    Minneapolis / St Paul
    as for all, really varies over the years ....

    sting rays, sabres g&L 2K's have laid the foundation in the 80's until the boutique fivers started to show up. ken smith and tobias are 2 popular brands fivers became more widespread in the 90's / early 00's.

    late 70's hwkins family or james cleveland were with a P while the last 8 years have seen a resurgence of active J fivers.

    generally i would agree you need a broad band sounding bass to keep up with the choir and the b3. my best choice would be a lakland 55-76 and make sure you go through the house and stage monitors
  12. gzarate85

    gzarate85 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2009
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    MTD should be in the list for sure. I'm always seeing gospel bassist with an MTD in hand. Justin Raines and Andrew Gouche are two greats that come to mind. I also see a lot of boutique jazz basses in the gospel scene. Terrance Palmer went from using a Tobias to a Pavel Jazz bass and I see P basses in the mix too with other players.

    As far as the sound, when I think of what a gospel bass sounds like I think boosted highs and lows with scooped mids, for that distinguished slap sound that is very common on gospel tracks.
  13. lrhew

    lrhew Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    My wife liked my Modulus Q5 with SWR Goliath 4x10 (bart-bart), but also Lakland 55-94 (bart-bart) with BagEnd 1x15. She was Jazz Keyboard in high school. I value her ear.
    Fighting off a B3. Both with SWR SM900.
  14. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    The Great Midwest
    Best I ever heard was from just a generic P bass
  15. OldDirtyBassist

    OldDirtyBassist

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2014
    Soft and fluffy sounding Yamaha 5 string. Those Gospal guys know tone for sure.
  16. bongostealth

    bongostealth Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    I love love love gospel bass tone! And I love seeing the different approaches that everyone has in getting that tone, especially when cutting through a Hammond B3 and a Leslie.
  17. basslayer

    basslayer Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Location:
    New Brunswick, NJ
    Check out the Yamaha TRBJP. That is my go to for gospel if I can't play a four string because of the nature of the song. If I don't have to do any slapping I play my U-Bass. It's got so much bottom.
  18. bongostealth

    bongostealth Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    What do you all think about the Musicman Bongo as a "Black Gospel" bass? I recently sold mine and I'm kind of kicking myself for it, but surprisingly not too much. I have yet to see a gospel player with one.
  19. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    Location:
    Metro St. Louis

    One of the absolute best players in my area uses a fairly inexpensive Ibanez Soundgear, he plans on buying a Warwick soon. For the last five or six years, I have used mainly Jazz basses of one kind or another.
  20. lancimouspitt

    lancimouspitt

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    dayton Ohio


    That's what I think of,but I don't know too much gospel.
  21. irbass

    irbass

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Location:
    NC - USA
    I got chance to go in few a black church, and i love the sound, Black gospel, funk and blues are my personal taste. But I'm not a professional musician i play bass because i love it. I remember Ibanez BTB, Peavey Cirrus, MTD, and Ken Smith.

    If i get chance to play black gospel and i wish do that, I'll go with Yamaha TRB PII or Eliezer modern jazz bass made in the country i was born.

    youtube eliezerbass

Share This Page